FAQ COVID-19 | Hamad Bin Khalifa University
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Due to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) events will be postponed or canceled until the end of June 2020 and classes have been suspended on campus until further notice. With a remote working approach in place, HBKU remains fully committed to ensuring educational continuity through its online learning platforms.
For further updates please visit: COVID-19

Hamad Bin Khalifa University

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Are classes canceled?

No. Classes on campus have been suspended as of Tuesday, March 10, 2020. The informed decision was announced by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education in an effort to protect the health of students and the wider community in Qatar. 

HBKU is in the process of conducting classes on a digital platform and students are advised to coordinate to work with faculty members in this regard.

Do I continue to study remotely?

Students will continue their learning and education remotely until the end of this semester in coordination with your faculty members. Colleges and faculty are working  with students in regard to course requirements and grading arrangements. 

If you face any connectivity issues, please contact the HBKU IT team ( ) for technical support.

Can students visit HBKU buildings?

Following the most recent guidance provided by the MOPH and as a precaution to safeguard the health and safety of the HBKU community, access to all HBKU buildings and facilities has been restricted as of Thursday, March 12, 2020.

We request that all our students refrain from accessing any HBKU facilities until further notice. For urgent exceptions, kindly coordinate with your college. 

Can I travel back to my home country if I am an international student?

As a precautionary measure, international students are encouraged to travel back to their home countries. International travel advisories continuously change, and more flight destinations are being canceled and airports shut down. These restrictions are likely to affect your ability to travel by the summer. 

For those who decide to travel back, your housing facility has provided an express-checkout system, which you can inquire about from the Student Housing focal point at  . Your respective colleges have undertaken to cover your flight ticket expenses to your countries and to facilitate your exit permits in a timely manner.

If I am unable to travel back to my home country, can I stay in the student housing accomodation?

For students who are unable to travel back due to flight cancellations or difficult conditions in your home country that might affect your studies, you are more than welcome to remain in your dormitories. The University will continue to ensure your wellbeing, and all services will be provided to you as usual.

If I am a Qatari student abroad, can I travel back to Qatar?

National students outside the country would need to adhere to the national policies in place in that country with the readiness of the country's embassies to provide the necessary services, including facilitating the procedures for returning to the State of Qatar if needed.

If I am an international student abroad, can I travel back to Qatar?

Following a meeting of Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Crisis Management regarding further precautionary measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), all incoming flights to Hamad International Airport are suspended starting from Wednesday, March 18, for an initial period of 14 days.

To this end, international students are requested to continue their studies remotely and should contact their college focal point for further inquiries/arrangements.

What number can I call if I have urgent queries regarding COVID-19?

For all HBKU student-related queries regarding COVID-19, you can call Student Affairs on any of the numbers below:

  • 44540376
  • 5577 7713
  • WhatApp: 5503 3388

Employees

Will HBKU events continue to take place?

In order to safeguard the health and safety of the HBKU community amid the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, a decision has been taken to postpone or cancel events, both locally and internationally, from now until the end of June 2020. 

Events scheduled to take place after June will be evaluated in the coming weeks as we continue to monitor the situation.

 

Are visitors allowed on campus?

Given the developing situation, HBKU buildings are closed to all employees and visitors until further notice. 

Are classes canceled?

Classes on campus have been suspended as of Tuesday, March 10, 2020. Faculty members are advised to coordinate class schedules remotely and are expected to continue conducting classes through HBKU’s digital workspace.

The suspension of classes was announced by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education in an effort to protect the health of the wider community in Qatar. 

Will HBKU buildings be open to employees?

Given the developing situation, HBKU buildings are closed to all employees. Faculty, researchers and staff have been advised to work remotely until further notice and are expected to continue fulfilling their duties in coordination with their respective line managers.  Members involved in critical business functions are required to operate on site and will be informed accordingly. 

For technical queries, please contact the HBKU IT team ( ) for support.

If I am a Qatari employee abroad, can I travel back to Qatar?

Qatari employees outside the country would need to adhere to the national policies in place in that country with the readiness of the country's embassies to provide the necessary services, including facilitating the procedures for returning to the State of Qatar if needed.

If I am an expat employee abroad, can I travel back to Qatar?

Employees affected by the travel restrictions are advised to continue working remotely until further notice. Members are requested  to contact HBKU Human Resources (HR) and inform their line managers accordingly for further steps. 

How can I work remotely?

With the remote working approach, the University remains fully committed to ensuring research and educational continuity. 

To support our community members during the period of remote working, students, faculty, researchers and staff have access to a number of tools online. Click here to view the list of resources available. 

Line managers are requested to oversee workflow to serve their unit function and continue to be as effective as possible while operating remotely; ensuring employee work hours are met and team assignments are completed.

Please refer to the QF remote guidelines here.

I am unable to come back to Qatar because of the travel restrictions, what do I do?

We understand that some of our employees might have been impacted by the travel restrictions. We advise them to continue to work remotely and contact HBKU HR as per the details below, and copy their line managers for further necessary actions:

  • Mr. Bakri Said -
  • Ms. Shabeena Mohammed -

Should I cancel my personal travel plans because of the coronavirus?

We recommend that faculty, researchers and staff limit their personal travel plans. However, should they wish to do so (at their own risk), please note the precautions set by the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH).

Do I still process electronic HR requests through the ERP system?

HR electronic requests will continue to be processed through the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, which can be accessed through eservices.qf.org.qa

For further HR-related queries, please contact your HR focal points:

  • Mr. Bakri Said -
  • Ms. Shabeena Mohammed -

Is coronavirus covered under my HBKU medical plan?

COVID-19 has officially been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), and treatment is therefore not covered under insurance companies worldwide, including QF’s insurance policy with Qatar Medical and Life Insurance (QLM). Instead, treatment for any COVID-19 cases will be offered by Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC). By using your public health card, you can utilize the services of any public healthcare hospital or medical center in Qatar. 

What can I do to reduce the risk of getting coronavirus?

The MOPH recommends following simple practices to protect yourself and others from coronavirus:

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze with your sleeve or tissue, and dispose of used tissues in a covered bin.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with your hands before you wash them, especially when outside your home.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness.
  • If you experience symptoms including coughing, sneezing and fever, limit your contact with other people to prevent spreading infection.
  • It is also recommended that you don’t use handshakes when greeting each other – touching elbows or tapping feet together is now becoming more commonplace as a way of helping prevent the spread of the virus. ​​

I recently returned from a country where the COVID-19 is present and have symptoms consistent with coronavirus. What should I do?

If you have recently visited any country where cases of the coronavirus have been reported, and you have begun developing signs and symptoms of respiratory infections, please call the MOPH hotline on 16000. You can also visit the MOPH Website here for the latest information and health advice.

How can I practice social distancing?

Social distancing measures are steps you can take to reduce the social interaction between people. This will help reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).

These include: 

  • Avoiding contact with anyone displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). These symptoms include high temperature and/or new and continuous coughing.
  • Avoiding large gatherings and gatherings with friends and family. Keep in touch using remote technology such as the phone, internet, and social media.

Any tips/best practices for working remotely?

HBKU employees can follow a number of best practices for business continuity: 

  • Priorities and Essential Work
    Evaluate the responsibilities and priorities of your position, considering collaborator impact and feasibility of continuing (with or without adjustments). Share your thoughts with your line manager.  
  • Technology
    At a minimum, employees need a computer, internet, and phone access.  If you do not have a HBKU-issued laptop, please contact the HBKU IT department  . All staff are advised to follow the university practices and policies to maintain security on your device. Tools available can be found here.
  • Home Environment
    Consider if your home environment impacts remote work. Factors include the demands of other household members, appropriate lighting, seating, and other basic conditions. Set expectations with others in your home regarding your interactions and availability.  
  • Meetings
    Your line manager will likely define what tools you will use to hold meetings virtually. Practice holding meetings remotely before increasing remote work use. See the resource page for IT support. 
  • Time and Performance
    Discuss with your line manager how your time and performance will be managed. Communicate regularly with your line manager regarding your work priorities, deliverables, timelines, etc.